Air Products to construct Tees Valley renewable-energy plant

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Air Products has announced plans to build a 49MW renewable-energy plant in the Tees Valley in North East England.

The proposed renewable-energy plant, which still requires planning consent from Stockton on Tees Borough Council and an environmental permitting consent from the Environment Agency, would use advanced gasification technology provided by AlterNRG to convert pre-processed waste to power.

The plant, which would be located adjacent to the North Tees Chemical Complex near Billingham, also has the potential to generate hydrogen for mobile and stationary energy applications, and is being considered for a demonstration of Waste2Tricity’s fuel-cell technology.

As part of the planning and consultation process for the project, an initial scoping document − which details the project and the measures that will be taken to consider its environmental impact − has been issued to Stockton Borough Council.

A full environmental assessment and programme of public and regulatory stakeholder consultation, with stakeholders such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, will take place over the coming months. If successful, formal planning and environmental permit regulation applications could be submitted later this year.

Ian Williamson, European hydrogen and bio-energy director at Air Products, said: ’The UK continues to dispose of large volumes of waste to landfill, some of which could be converted to energy using technology such as advanced gasification. The technology that Air Products is proposing to bring to Teesside provides an alternative solution to the disposal or incineration of waste, with over 90 per cent of the waste arriving to the site being diverted from landfill and used as a renewable-energy resource.’

The project has received support from regional development agency One North East, which has invested £250,000 from the Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP), to investigate the feasibility of constructing the proposed plant.

The site, owned by Teesside-based Impetus Reclamation, has been renamed the New Energy and Technology Business Park (NETBP), and will focus on energy-efficient production facilities and the conversion of waste to energy, waste to fuels and other related products.

Working in collaboration with Impetus Waste Management, Air Products will now carry out a full assessment into the availability of waste, the suitability of the site and the need for baseload renewable power in the area.

One North East is also investing £2.2m in a major land-reclamation project at the NETBP through the TVIP.